April 3, 2011

Graph of the Day, and WSJ Commentary

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:11 am

Here’s the graph, illustrating the epic fail we continue to endure known as the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy, which really started at about the 5-6 month mark on the red 2007 line:


Here’s part of the commentary, from a Wall Street Journal Saturday editorial (bolds are mine):

The nearby chart compares the recovery rate in jobs after each of the last four recessions, and so far this one has been by far the weakest. It would have been stronger without the costs and other burdens that Congress and the Obama Administration piled on the last two years.

… wages are flat, even as prices for food and energy are rising rapidly. The average wage of $22.87 didn’t budge in March and was up only one penny in February. That in itself is not unusual in the early stages of recovery when there are lots of idle workers.

The problem is that consumer prices rose 0.4% in January, 0.5% in February, and March may see a big jump as well. In recent weeks, gasoline prices have risen by 33 cents to more than $4 a gallon in states like California. Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer in the nation, has announced that it will have to raise prices due to higher energy costs. And this week, in time for Easter, Hershey announced it is raising its wholesale candy prices by a whopping 9.7%. All of this is putting a squeeze on middle class paychecks and contributing to consumer unease and a rise in inflation expectations.

The particularly germane comparison is to the 1981 line on the chart, which represents the country’s last really serious recession; in fact, the 2001 time period doesn’t qualify as an official recession under the normal-person definition of two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. (The 1990-1991 recession had two quarters of negative growth bordering on three — the preceding quarter was a flat 0.0%. This something I did not recall until a day after this post originally appeared when doing other research — Ed.) The reason job hemorrhaging stopped is that Reagan cut taxes. When he did, not only did the bleeding stop, but job losses disappeared sooner than during any other recession charted, even the far weaker ones of 1990 and 2001. But in the POR Economy, job losses were like the Energizer Bunny; they just kept going and going, because, as the Journal noted, of “the costs and other burdens that Congress and the Obama Administration piled on.”

If they really expected to get a legitmate recovery, they wouldn’t have done what they did. I question whether they really wanted to have one, and if they even want a robust recovery now.

Positivity: Bishop approves Our Lady of Lourdes healing

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:55 am

From Paris:

Mar 30, 2011 / 01:55 pm

Bishop Emmanuel Delmas of Angers, France confirmed the healing of a man at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.

“This healing can be considered as a personal gift of God for this man, as a fact of grace, as a sign of Christ the Savior,” the bishop said March 27.

Serge Francois, 56, had lost almost all mobility in his left leg after complications from two operations left him with a herniated disc. He made a pilgrimage to the shrine on April 13, 2002 to pray for healing.

Bishop Delmas noted that the healing took place after Francois “had finished praying at the grotto and went to the miraculous spring to drink the water and wash his face. A unique gesture of the Virgin Mary can be seen in the healing of this man,” he said.

The Spanish daily La Razon said that after Francois’ recovery, he returned to Lourdes in 2003 and reported his case to the medical commission, which began its investigation.

The Lourdes Medical Commission later verified that “the rapid functional healing, unrelated to any form of treatment” was “still present, eight years later.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.